Northwind Imperial Stout | Two Brothers Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
961 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Northwind Imperial StoutNorthwind Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
twobrothersbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark delights like this were once shipped to the imperial court of Russia. With a firm, roasty maltiness balanced against a generous helping of hops, Northwind can stand up to the worst its namesake can dish out! Enjoy it by a roaring fire.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
961
Reviews:
418
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
11.9%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
90
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 961 |  Reviews: 418
Photo of bschmidt_37
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.93/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The imperial stout category is something of a category of giants. Looking at the other beers of this style I've reviewed, they've been largely excellent. Dark Lord, Old Rasputin, Great Divide Yeti, Brooklyn Black Chocolate, Great Lakes Blackout, and Alesmith Speedway Stout are all fantastic beers full of lots of dry roastiness and full mouthfeels. And this one fell short, at least compared to those others. While I'm a big fan of Two Bros beers, I thought this one was disappointing and not very drinkable. Flavor was not very roasty and mouthfeel was a bit watery. And maybe it was when I had it in my evening, but this beer made me feel exceptionally full which led me not to finish it. Unfortunately, the next day I'm unable to articulate what exactly it was I objected to.

 779 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost black but in reality dark, dark chocolate brown. Thick tan head that dissolved to a thin foamy veneer. Nose was a bit of an oddity-smells like ice water. Wierd...

Flavor is solid RIS. However, not one dominant flavor, just bunches of malts, chocolate and coffee tones. Come candy tones too such as licorice and caramel. Also getting some daker fruits--cherries and old dried apricots. Mouthfeel is perhaps a bit thin and watery but not too off for the style. A very easily drinkable RIS without any off-the-wall flavors or ABV.

 546 characters

Photo of ryanpj
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of bauermj
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of katan
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a goblet, lot 3178

A - Totally opaque beer - black all the way. SRM north of 35. Little head formation, with only a very light film remaining. Hazing or carbonation is not present, but could be well concealed by the color.

S - Chocolate and roasted malts - nice and sweet with only a hair of coffee bitterness in the background. I can sense only the lightest of hop additions in the smell.

T - Starts off with a light sweet note, with only a hint of roasted malts. Some hops bitterness start to show in the mid-stream - only enough to create a hint of american hops. Finishes with a chocolate edge, first bitter but then turning to sweet. Sits with a nice coffee/sweet note on the tongue.

M - Moderate to high body - body development is strong for the relatively modest abv for the style. Carbonation bite is not present. Somewhat clingy on the tongue.

D - Not sure drinkable is the word, but it sure goes down like a smooth beer. ABV is very manageable for the style. Flavors are not over the top - no palette fatigue.

Good selection from TB - reminds me much of the good ol' Old Rasputin.

 1,116 characters

Photo of vinny21bal
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of mschrei
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Wildman
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured very black, with no light getting through it. It had a light tan bubbly head that left only trace lace as it subsided. The aroma was of malt, hops, chocolate and some coffee. A flavor of malt, hops and chocolate with some coffee elements. A bit lighter than most beers of this style with a slightly bitter finish. Not one that will challenge the great imperials, but it is not a bad beer.

 405 characters

Photo of sludgegnome
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hibernator
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a deep black with trails of sticky lacings on the side of the glass.

Whiffs of a chocolate bar and freshly brewed French Roast coffee.

Juicy chocolate syrup thickness with hints of milk chocolate. Hints of roasted coffee beans, almost espresso-like in the bitterness of the punch. A touch of sour cream interjects with a bitter hop bite. A touch of caramel sweetness with roasted malts as the backbone.

Solid - I would like to try this brew in the dead of winter.

 578 characters

Photo of ronricorossi
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Rilesmiles
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of pirmannt1
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of antoines15
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kirok1999 for this one, via the GB&U BIF.

Pours a deep dark brown that lets quite a bit of light in through the edges with only a slight irregular film of head.

Smells... a little weak. There's a fruity and toasty base that could be just about anything that is backed by a combination of green grapes, airy tobacco and smoke. Very fair, very light. Not bad at all, but a little on the thin end.

Whoa. Grape juice. There's a mostly green grapes backed with a touch of brownie and a hint of smokey coffee. Finishes sweet and clean. Huh. This definitely doesn't hang with the best of them, but it's nice and clean. More of your drinkin' stout. Not really an RIS by a long shot, in my book. But the ABV is up, which slides by remarkably. Hmmm. I'm torn here.

Very clean, very smooth; almost watery. But there's a touch of bubble-induced viscosity that helps out a bit.

An easy drinking RIS with "Drinkability?" I'm not sure where I stand on this one. I guess I like it?

 981 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black hue with finger of khaki head and the lacing is great.

S: Roasty chestnut, charred malt, some dark fruit and hazelnut-ish coffee. A little subdued for me, but a nice aroma.

T: Nice sweet malt taste, with definite licorice notes and creamy lactose. Could use a little more burn and char, its sort of subdued.

M: Great, creamy and coating.

D: Good stout overall.

 377 characters

Photo of PopnLoads
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of allenson21
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mikereaser
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 1/27/10

A - Pours a pitch black with just a layer of tiny bubbles on the surface.

S - roasted malts, bitter sweet chocolate

T - nicely balanced roasted malts, chocolate and just a hint of some hops

M - smooth, creamy, medium bodied, light carbonation

D - nothing earth shattering, easy to drink, smooth, but i probably won't search it out again.

 382 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I seem to be out-of-step on this one, but I believe it's a much better beer than the numbers I'm seeing. Then again, I'm a big stout fan so I might be biased by the style.

I'll admit it may not be too true to style as this bottle exploded with a huge head and most Imperials don't boast great heads. As I look at the body I'm noticing lots of residue and floaties so there must still be some yeasties at work here even at low storage temps.

The huge and voluminous beige head eventually recedes to a small cover and the a ring leaving nice lacing. The very darl brown body is definitely not black, but it is light resistant to a fault; ain't passing through this cave of darkness.

The nose is huge and gives off very nice coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt notes. Maybe even a little hops buried in there. Great taste that is heavy roasted coffee overlayed with dark chocolate. Very, very nice heavy body without being syrupy, sticky. Great drinkability in the sipping category.

I really liked this stout and I'm going to store some back for aging. I'll others will as well.

 1,087 characters

Photo of linnymtu
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of AmitC
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle from Lot 3182.

Almost black, very dark brown while pouring. Pitch black inside the glass. About one finger thick tan-shining brown colored head, that does not stand well enough. Decent lacing on the sides.

Not one of the strongest aromas here. Some burnt up malts, some very minor hops, a well hidden alcohol. At least, does not give anything up. Some roasted malts, again very mild for an imperial stout. Chocolate and caramel, just a sprinkling.

Taste: Again alcohol is not felt. To me that is a bad thing for a RIS. To some it is good, but alcohol should come out and lead. Somewhat sweet due to malt presence. Very low to almost non-existent on bitter hops. As with stouts, roasted malts, caramel and some chocolate. But nothing worth remembering. Nothing that strikes out. Very mild taste. Dry finish.

Mouth feel: Full bodied, yet not very thick. Easy on palate, no astringency. A well drinking beer for over 9% RIS.

Style Rate: 4
Personal Rate: 4

 987 characters

Photo of MN_Beerticker
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 961 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.